William Miller

William Miller is a gentleman farmer tormented by the question of why he survived the battle of Plattsburg. Searching for answers, he ignores the misgivings and jeers of friends to search the Scriptures where he finds a friend in Jesus.

He studies prophecy and privately develops a conviction that Christ’s Second Coming will take place in 1843. He is reluctant to share his findings with the public but is persuaded by his wife to tell others.

Miller begins preaching the message of Christ’s imminent return and some believe, many reject his words.

Influential Boston-based preacher, Joshua Himes joins the Millerite and pushes Miller to expand the reach of his preaching with tours of the Northeast region of the United States and through the use of the printing press.

The growing Millerite movement attracts the dedication and financial resources of future leaders like retired sea captain Joseph Bates.

Thousands believe Miller’s preaching and although Christ does not return in 1843, Miller endorses the findings of other Adventists who claim Jesus will return on October 22, 1844.

Miller and his followers are devastated by the Great Disappointment of 1844 when Jesus does not return to earth. Thousands staked their reputations and resources on their beliefs and the bitter reality was too hard for some to bear.

The aging Miller was utterly devastated about being wrong about what took place in 1844. However, his work inspired further study by people who continued to believe in a soon Second Coming, and eventually embraced the truth of the seventh-day Sabbath.